Saturday, October 1, 2016

Russia Pounds Aleppo: 'Terrible Consequences' If U.S. Intervenes

Russia pounds Aleppo, warns of 'terrible consequences' if US intervenes

Russia warned the United States Saturday against carrying out any attacks on Syrian government forces, saying it would have repercussions across the Middle East as regime troops pressed a Russian-backed offensive to retake the entire city.

Russian news agencies quoted Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying that a US intervention against the Syrian army “will lead to terrible, tectonic consequences not only on the territory of this country but also in the region on the whole.”

She said regime change in Syria would create a vacuum that would be “quickly filled” by “terrorists of all stripes.”

Aleppo, once Syria’s vibrant commercial powerhouse, is now at the heart of a major military campaign by President Bashar Assad’s fighters and his steadfast ally Moscow.
The offensive, announced on September 22, has seen dozens of civilians killed and residential buildings flattened in the east, where an estimated 250,000 people live under government siege.
As the situation for civilians grows increasingly dire, the biggest hospital in east Aleppo was hit by two barrel bombs on Saturday, the medical organization that supports it said.
“Two barrel bombs hit the M10 hospital and there were reports of a cluster bomb as well,” said Adham Sahloul of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS).

Sahloul said a small group of patients and doctors “were inside the hospital for basic triage, bandaging, and cleaning services for emergency cases” when the bombardment began and remained trapped there.

“In the flood of violence that has overwhelmed Aleppo for several days, the systematic targeting of structures and health workers is particularly unjustifiable,” Ayrault said.
“This new attack only confirms the absolute urgency of a cessation of hostilities in Aleppo and access for civilian populations to the humanitarian assistance they desperately need,” he said.
The World Health Organization has called Syria the most dangerous place in the world for health workers, and Aleppo in particular has seen much of its medical infrastructure destroyed or heavily damaged.
Since fighting first broke out there in 2012, Aleppo has been divided by a front line between rebel forces in the east and government troops in the west.

After the government launched its offensive last month, more than 220 people have been killed by bombardment on Aleppo’s east, including six children and 12 other civilians on Friday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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